Intel President to Leave Amidst Other Departures

Photo courtesy of Josh Bancroft via Flickr

According to the company’s announcement, Renee James, the President of Intel Corp, is stepping down from her position to seek a chief executive job somewhere else. This is just one of the several management changes that were announced as the current CEO, Brian Krzanich pushes the firm to move at a quicker pace. 51-year-old Ms. James is one of the most notable female executives in Silicon Valley and Intel’s highest ranking woman ever. In a letter sent to the employees, the CEO said that she had agreed to stay on till the end of the year for assisting with the transition planning.

In another major and high-profile change, the chip maker announced that Arvind Sodhani, the 61-year old long time Capital chief would also be retiring in January. Two executives, Mike Bell and Hermann Eul, whose responsibilities were changed in the recent reorganization of the company would also be leaving the company. The changes come while the Silicon Valley giant is grappling with the sagging sales of personal computers, which use its microprocessors and the outcomes of investment efforts made in the market are mixed and uncertain. For instance, chips have been placed in numerous smartphones by Intel and costly subsidies were required due to sales of chips for tablets eventually leading to operating losses.

In April, Intel had reported that there was just a 3% increase in the net income from the first quarter. The company had also announced that its spending would be reduced by $300 million in 2015. The resulting job cuts haven’t been publicly quantified by the firm, but it was reported by a newspaper last month that an internal memo put the figure at several hundred employees. The company has been driven into new areas by Mr. Krzanich such as wearable devices while trying to defend its lucrative business of chips in server systems.

In order to advance this strategy, last month, the company had announced a deal to purchase programmable chipmaker Altera Corp for about $16.7 billion in cash, which was its biggest deal. Ms. James has been with the company for 28 years and she even served as an assistant to Andy Grove, the former chief executive of the firm. For years, she headed Intel’s software operations and also spearheaded some of the biggest acquisitions made by the company. It was in May 2013 that she rose to the number two spot when she had been named in a tandem appointment with Mr. Krzanich.

They said that they had managed to convince the company’s board regarding the merits of a two-person leadership structure to take the company forward. However, lately, she seemed to have a less prominent role and her participation in Intel announcements and event was less frequent. Intel didn’t allow Ms. James or the other departing executives of the company to comment, but the CEO stated in his letter that they were sorry to see the President go. He also said that the board was in full support of her decision and goals. 

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